Murdoch to lift German stake

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Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp tightened its grip on Sky Deutschland yesterday, saying it would raise its stake in the German pay-TV company to 54.5 per cent from just under half.

The move comes as the media group separates its publishing and entertainment assets into two publicly-traded companies following shareholder pressure to sell its troubled newspaper business and put a greater focus on the faster-growing TV companies.

It also follows an attempt in 2010 by News Corp to snap up the 61 per cent of BSkyB that it did not own. That deal was scuppered by the phone hacking scandal.

News Corp is hoping Sky Deutschland will turn out like BSkyB, which has amassed more than ten million customers.